USTP’s Innovation Summit 2019 in the Philippines

Posted 2 April 2019 by Lorin Symington.

Last week I was honoured to be invited as a speaker to the 2nd Innovation Summit 2019 hosted by The University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines (USTP) who’s now our partner. The two day event was filled with sessions from industry, government and academe. I spoke on the subject of Solar Thermal Energy for Agrofood Processing in the Face of Climate Change.

A few highlights from the event were the ‘fireside chat’ with Diosdado P. Banatao, a prominent Filipino businessman now based in Silicone Valley and Chairman of PhilDev, a session by Avril de Torres from the Centre for Ecology, Energy and Development, the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Agreement between GoSol, CarbonCycle and USTP, and the pitching competition where USTP students competed to give their tech startups a head start in the business world.

The Philippines as a country recognises that they are particularly vulnerable to climate change, and the city of Cagayan de Oro as well as USTP are positioning themselves to innovate solutions to the challenge. The economy of the Philippines is also weighted towards food processing, so there was quite a lot of interest in my talk, as I presented how solar thermal can help companies improve their bottom line and get in front of government policies regarding emissions and energy use.

I met a number of student innovators who were presenting their final projects, many of them in mechanical food processing and I exchanged contact info with a few of them because we’ll need passionate young engineers and scientists in the coming years. A shout out to the teams responsible for the coconut weaver, spray dehydrator, rice husk powered dehydrator, floating river hydro pump and these guys, demonstrating that the answer to the age old question ‘how many engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?’ is, in fact, two. :P

It’s always a pleasure to meet and learn from other people involved in the fight against climate change, as well as thought leaders in any field. I’m grateful to USTP for the experience and am looking forward to our collaboration.




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